Police warn drivers ahead of Easter

Picture: Damjan Janevski

Westgate highway patrol is calling for drivers to take care on Wyndham roads this Easter after police detected 116 traffic offences over the Labour Day long weekend.

Police from highway patrol, uniform, and other divisions were out in force during March 11-14 for Operation Arid, setting up random breath testing sites across the city and targeting speed, distraction and impaired driving through regular patrols.

Police pulled over 32 unregistered vehicles, 22 for seatbelt offences, 17 speeding drivers, 15 unlicensed drivers, 12 for mobile phone offences and 10 for drug driving offences.

In one case, a 31-year-old Hoppers Crossing man was found with drugs in his car when he was intercepted at a random breath test site in Hoppers Crossing.

The man returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.022 – despite his license conditions requiring him to not have any alcohol in his system – and a search of his vehicle uncovered small amounts of cannabis and ice.

The man also had an outstanding warrant against his name for driving while suspended and was wanted for questioning regarding a previous motor vehicle crash.

He was charged with possessing a drug of dependence, drink driving and other matters, and was bailed.

Westgate highway patrol unit commander Damien Madden said it was hard to compare this year’s results to previous years since the Wyndham, Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong highway patrol squads merged last year, effectively tripling the manpower.

“Clearly our enforcement is a lot better this year than last year,” Senior Sergeant Madden said.

“It’s about being out there, being visible, targeting what’s really harming us in terms of road trauma numbers.

“From a Wyndham perspective, we’ve had three fatalities this year, compared to none for the same time last year, which is really disappointing.

“Having said that, our serious injury crashes are down almost 50 per cent, so it’s a good guide that we’re heading in the right direction, but the ones that we really want to affect are not coming down.”